Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

How to protect your computer from the Conficker C virus

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

image from Wikipedia

There has been quite a bit of talk on the internet about the Conficker virus that was supposed to wreck a whole lot of computers yesterday. People are panicking all over the place as if their computer is about to explode.

This is just another virus. It is hyped up to be something devastating, but apart from its ability to replicate and avoid detection, it is like any other virus. A lot of viruses already steal personal information from your computer. To avoid catching Conficker C, use the same methods you would to prevent any other virus.

Assuming you don’t already have Conficker on your computer, waiting to attack, here are the usual anti-virus tips you should follow.

  • Don’t click on suspicious links on suspicious sites.
  • Don’t download suspicious files, or most of the time, files that are around 900kb or 300kb (unless you know the file you’re looking for is supposed to be that size).
  • Use good a good anti-virus program like AVG and make sure it’s fully updated.
  • Don’t open suspicious emails and their suspicious attachments.
  • Scan files before you open them.
  • Make sure your operating system is updated.
  • Use a firewall. Vista’s firewall is sufficient for most people, so just make sure that it’s enabled.

Use common sense and if you think a site or file might be infected, don’t open it. If you think your computer might already be infected with the Conficker worm, my suggestion would be to just reformat. You will lose all your files that you did not back up, but at least you will be 100% sure that your personal information isn’t being stolen. Just don’t back up your files if you’re already infected, because the virus will transfer along with your backups. Good luck and keep your computer safe. To protect your computers from virus infection, it is always best to read Antivirus Reviews to select the best product in the market.

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How I have kept my PC virus-free for 5+ years

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I find it annoying yet funny how some Apple commercials always brag about PC’s having hundreds of thousands of viruses while Macs have none. They are highly inaccurate because OS X does have viruses, just not as many. Some say this is because OS X is a superior operating system, and some say it’s because it has such a small market share. I think it’s a little bit of both – it’s based off of UNIX, and it has a much smaller market share and fewer users than Windows. So here is why I just don’t give a shit that Macs have less viruses, adware, and spyware than PC’s.

Safe Browsing

I know what sites I’m visiting. If I don’t, I use my configured version of Portable Firefox. I’ll post my configuration in a later post, but in short terms, I have it configured to block scripts, block cookies, record no history, and disable plugins. I only use this for shady sites I might visit that I know might try to infect my computer. For your daily browsing, use Firefox.

The Right Virus Protection

I use one antivirus program and one anti-adware/spyware program. If you use more than one, they will interfere with each other, and sometimes cancel out each other’s protection. Having more protection than you need is worse than having none. I use AVG Free and Adaware SE. These offer more protection than you need if you know how to stay safe online.

Safe Downloading

Do you use Limewire or torrents to download your favorite Linux distros? Make sure you know what you’re downloading. Know how big the file is supposed to be. A 900KB EXE file is not a music or movie file. Try to avoid P2P networks for downloading things unless you’re looking for a small file under 10MB that would just be more convenient to download from P2P. For everything else, use torrents, and read the comments people write, because most of the time if there’s a virus in it, people will tell you in the comments.

Common Sense

The FBI isn’t going to send you an email with an important attachment. Don’t open any attachments that aren’t from people you know. Don’t open EXE attachments. I use Gmail, which blocks EXE files and other files that might be viruses from attachments. With online mail services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail, you have a much smaller chance of opening something you shouldn’t.

Most people I know use routers, and routers offer extra protection. Make sure you only unblock ports you know are needed for certain programs. Use the Windows Firewall, it’s not as bad as people think, especially in Vista.

In Conclusion

Use your common sense and you’ll be fine. These are the things I do, and I really have not gotten my computer infected for 5 years and counting. I do a lot of stuff online, yet I keep safe. Follow these very easy tips, and your PC can be as virus-free as any Mac.

Posted in Security, Tips & Tricks | 3 Comments »